Water is a hidden service. We watch the rain pour down; we open our taps and then we wonder why we should pay for water… there just seems to be so much of it!
What we don’t realise is that the water in our taps requires pipelines, pumping stations, pipes and massive infrastructure and that’s what we pay for.
World Water Day on March 22, 2013 and South Africa’s own Water Week in the same month, is a celebration of water and an urgent reminder of the value of this one essential element that unites all living beings.
In April 2012, Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa announced that over R570-billion would be needed for investment across South Africa’s water value chain, in the next 10 years. This vast funding will most probably result in substantial water tariff price hikes. Experts are even suggesting that water costs could rise more than 45% over the next two years and municipalities that charge between R3.80 and R4.70 per kilolitre of water currently could be increasing tariffs by between R3 and R4 per kilolitre.
So how can homeowners take the edge off these rising water costs? “Invest in a JoJo rainwater harvesting tank to harvest and store rain, your FREE source of water,” says JoJo Tanks managing director, Rod Cairns. “Rainwater harvesting reduces the pressure on the existing water infrastructure and the reliance on water storage dams; it also reduces flooding caused by storm water and it can significantly reduce water bills.
It is clear is that South Africans are facing some crunch decisions with increasingly expensive water supply likely in the future. “Our ability to keep our taps and our rivers running with clean water depends entirely on how efficiently we are going to manage this precious resource,” says Cairns.
“Water is currently managed as if it were worthless instead of the life-sustaining, valuable, and increasingly scarce resource that it is. An appreciation of its significance is essential if we are to guarantee water security and water availability for all South Africans.”
“A key step moving forward,” says Cairns passionately, “ is to ensure that every South African installs a rainwater harvesting tank. JoJo Tanks is passionate about the role we should play in conserving this key resource and we continuously educate about the benefits of rainwater harvesting. If all South Africans do not act soon, there may simply not be enough water to meet the country’s future needs.”
- Agriculture remains the single largest user of water, with the sector consuming up to 60% of the country’s water.
- The World Water Development Report highlights the immense challenge posed by natural disasters, of which 90% are water related. Droughts, for example, strain agricultural production, leading to shortages and price increases of basic foods.
- International experts generally agree that 50 litres per person per day is the minimum amount needed to sustain a healthy and dignified life.
- According to a 2007 Earth Policy Institute, municipal water rates around the world had already increased dramatically over the previous five years; 27% in the United States, 32% in the United Kingdom, 45% in Australia, 50% in South Africa and 58% in Canada.
- Rainwater provides you with your FREE source of water, it is sustainable, environmentally friendly and can be used for all household cleaning purposes and can also be used to flush the toilet, water the garden, wash the car and top up the pool and fishpond.
- 70% of South Africa’s water supply comes from 4 rivers.
- South Africa has high evaporation rates of between 1,100mm and 1,300mm which exceeds the average annual rainfall in some areas.
- The free basic water allocation is 6000ℓ per household per month. Price differentiation is based on consumption levels.
- The City of Johannesburg lost between 35% and 40% of its water in 2011 as a result of crumbling infrastructure and general household wastage.
- In the 2009-2010 financial year, the City of Cape Town could not account for about 83.4 million kilolitres of water.